Ride Clear of Diablo, a movie starring Audie Murphy, VHS version
Four out of five stars
Despite his popularity on many levels, war hero Audie Murphy was heavily typecast, the only role that the public wanted to see him play was the upstanding western man good with a gun facing down the villains, wherever they are found.
When the film opens, the father and brother of Clay O’Mara (Murphy) are shot down trying to stop a band of thieves from rustling their cattle. At the time, Clay is working for the railroad and when he gets a letter informing him of their deaths, he goes back to his hometown in an attempt to learn who killed them.
The conspiracy runs deep, involving people that Clay trusts and they try to set him up. The sheriff gives him a badge and sends him out to capture the notorious gunslinger Whitey Kincaid. To the surprise of everyone, Clay brings Kincaid in alive and despite their differences, there is a budding friendship.
The action is often predictable and Kincaid lets out an extremely annoying laugh on a regular basis. Clay remains the principled hero throughout, even refusing to shoot members of a bushwhacking team in the back when they are fleeing the scene.
One of the high points is when Clay recovers a stolen white stallion that is said to be the fastest horse in the area. Even people that don’t know anything about horses will believe that claim, as the horse just looks the part.
This is a movie that shows Murphy in the role that the public wanted him to play, the clean hero that can knock the bad guys around and shoot straight and deadly when he has to.